Mayor awards plaque to county following food drive

Published 6:26 am Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm presented the Mower County Board of Commissioners with a plaque on Tuesday for the county winning the competition that pits city employees against county employees to see which group can donate the most non-perishable food during the holiday season.

County and city employees have held the friendly competition for more than a decade. All the food collected goes to the Salvation Army.

Stiehm said he appreciated that county and city employees matched or even succeeded what they raised in past years.

“It’s all for a good cause, especially when times are tough for people now,” he said. “It seems like when times get tough, I’ll bet you the totals are higher now than they’ve been in a good year. People really step up and give.”

The city had won each year since 2005, until the county won by collecting 1,606 pounds of food compared to the city’s 687. The county donated 7.04 pounds per employee, and the city collected about 4.87 pounds per employee.

Stiehm joked that he was suspicious about the results since county employees weighed the food at the Mower County Recycling Center.

“I wasn’t there for the weigh in, so I guess I’m going to have to take their word on it,” Stiehm said.

“Next year if the city wins, I want at least Craig Oscarson there to hand it to me,” he added.

However, Stiehm said he was glad to present the plaque to the county because all the food donated goes to a good cause.

“If I have to keep coming here, I don’t mind at all,” he said.

Commissioner Ray Tucker said the plaque will likely be hung somewhere in the Mower County Government Center.